Currently historic: Yu’ve been Trout fishing

First, let me apologize for last week’s absence. Children. Emergency room. Everything is fine now. If you have kids, I expect you know how it goes sometimes.

Anyway, we’re back this week, and I want to start with Yu Darvish. Right now, he has 186 strikeouts. He has, unequivocally, been the Rangers’ best starter. A short DL stint hurt his chances of striking out 300, but it’s still a possibility.

Texas is in the hunt for a playoff spot with a division title, a Wild Card spot, and a seat in front of the TV in October all valid possibilities. The question, then is how hard the Rangers will ride him. Darvish will be pitching after I write this, and counting that start, he should be good for a minimum of 10 more starts. However, if the Rangers get creative with off days, he could get as many as 12. Here’s his current pace depending on the number of starts he makes:

{exp:list_maker}10 starts: 275 Ks
11 starts: 283 Ks
12 starts: 292 Ks {/exp:list_maker}

You can see that he’s got a tough row to hoe. But I’m really rooting for him. Maybe it’s because I became aware of baseball during he second half of Nolan Ryan‘s career and was in my late-teens and early 20s when Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling were in their primes, but I’m grew up fairly used to there being a few pitchers who could pile up innings and still blow batters away at relief-pitcher rates.

Darvish is striking out players at a Johnsonian rate, and it’s awesome. I’m going to keep tracking him because it’s fun, and I hope he gets hot and does it. He probably won’t, but that’s baseball.


Adam Wainwright is fading a bit, but he is still striking out 7.4 batters for every batter he walks. That is the 11th best modern total, and he could easily move up the list a bit.


Joey Votto has 500 plate appearances. After Tuesday’s games, he will officially be qualified. His OBP is .438. In second place, is teammate Shin-Soo Choo at .416. In third is Michael Cuddyer at .396. In short, Votto is going to lead the league for a forth time in a row. Just as a reminder, the only other players who have done that are Barry Bonds, Wade Boggs, Ted Williams and Rogers Hornsby.

We’re getting into the time of year where stuff happens to players and it means it’s time to stop tracking something. Stuff happened to Miguel Cabrera. He’s not going to reach base anything like a historic number of times. Oh well. In fact, he isn’t on pace to do anything really historic now. He still has a shot at leading in two Triple Crown categories after winning it the previous year, but he needs to pass Chris Davis in RBIs.

However… Guess who’s suddenly on the scene. It’s Mike Trout who is now leading the league in walks and tied with Manny Machado for the lead league in hits. Welcome to the list, Mike Trout.

Chris Davis keeps on keepin’ on. He’s hit 40 dingers now and is on pace for 58, which is just outside the top 10. He is also on pace for 101 extra-base hits, which would leave him all by his lonesome at 13th.

Davis’ teammate Machado is also on pace for 58 of something, but it’s doubles. The record is probably out of reach at this point, but I am still interested to see if he can manage 60, which is a very rare feat.


Houston Astros, welcome back. The American League Windmills have seriously upped the pace in the last few weeks and are on track to finish with 1,527 strikeouts. That is two short of the all-time record. it’s nice for me when these things stay interesting late into the season.

MLB’s Diversity Fellowship Is a Step in the Right Direction
It is not a perfect program, but it certainly counts as progress.

On the team-stat front, we also have Baltimore continuing to pick it. The Orioles are on pace for only 47 errors this year. That’d be a record, folks. And by a lot. The Rays are also on pace to break he old record of 65. Right now, they’re looking to finish the season with 58 errors.


We’ve got a new candidate in our strikeout tracking. Remember, the item we’re tracking is whether two players will finish the season with 200 strikeouts. That has never happened before. We currently have two players on pace and three more within shouting distance. If we could just makes sure to match these guys up with Darvish, we might really have something.

Chris Carter, 149 Ks, 217 K pace: Carter is three quarters of the way to 200 and has picked up his pace lately. A few more weeks like these last two and we’ll be talking about Mark Reynolds‘ single-season record of 223 again.

Adam Dunn, 125 Ks, 182 K pace: If this were any other player, I’d stop tracking him. But it’s Adam Dunn, the patron saint of the three true outcomes. I think we all know he’s capable of quickening his pace.

Mike Napoli, 145 Ks, 204 K pace: If he were still catching, Napoli’s numbers other than his strikeouts would be really great. As a first baseman, he’s still roughly average.

Dan Uggla, 139 Ks, 198 K pace: Dan Uggla. Still hanging around.

Chris Davis, 133 Ks, 192 K pace: I’m sliding Davis in here as he’s hung around long enough that an off week or two could have him staring down 200.


Derek Jeter is back! Again! Oh, wait a minute. No, he’s gone. Again. Sorry. Also, I’m not touching Alex Rodriguez for at least another week. Other members of our list will continue to see the full treatment however…

Todd Helton (579) has squeaked past Wade Boggs and is 19th by himself. Cap Anson is still three ahead of him.

Adrian Beltre has hit only one double since last we met and needs 14 to reach 500. He needs to get on it. He’s running out of season.

Home runs:
Albert Pujols, from what I understand of it, performed surgery on himself and is either out for the season or not. We’ll be taking a break from tracking him, and hoping he is more like the old Pujols when he comes back.

Stolen bases:
Juan Pierre‘s has been benched. He’s also stolen two more bases and needs eight more to move into 17th all-time. We’ll give him a few more weeks.

Michael Bourn stole three since we last met and now needs only eight to reach 300.

Showing up:
Mariano Rivera (1,095) needs 25 more appearances to catch John Franco for third. Probably won’t happen, but it might.

Bartolo Colon needs three more starts to get to 400.

Thanks for reading. As always, stats are through Monday’s games.

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Jason teaches high school English, writes fiction, runs a small writing program and writes about education and literature. He also writes for Redleg Nation and both writes and edits for The Hardball Times. Follow him on Twitter @JasonLinden, visit his website or email him here.
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Matt Holliday has grounded into 24 double plays and if he grounds into 12 more he’ll tie Jim Rice for the single season record.


Welcome back!  I had assumed it was just vacation.  Missed the column.  Glad the kids are okay.

Roy in Omaha
Roy in Omaha
There needs to be some negativity here, frankly, and, I give you Billy Butler. The career major league record of total GIDP is currently held by none other than Cal Ripken at 350. Billy Butler’s career mark currently stands at 132. If Billy plays through age 38, at his average rate of 22 GIDP per season, he will likely comfortably break Ripken’s record. He is not getting any faster (he’s arguably the slowest player in baseball) and this season is not over which weighs his season average down a tad. Billy just missed the single season record himself in 2010… Read more »

Roy: Butler might pass Ripken’s career total for GIDP (I’m not sure he’ll play through age 38), but by that time I’d expect Albert Pujols to hold the career GIDP mark. Pujols currently has 269 GIDP’s, a rate just shy of 21/season.

To tie this all into this series, if Pujols comes back this season and grounds into two more double plays, that will give him nine seasons of twenty or more, which will be a new record. (Ted Simmons also has eight.)